Friday, February 27, 2015

BrightFields Opposition

From what I have heard, most of the opposition to the BrightFields solar array is not due to opposition to solar power in general but opposition to doing anything with that particular parcel of contaminated property at all. I gather  that, once the EPA approved the property as finally cleaned up, they just want to leave it sit for fear that more contamination might take place.

From what I understand, the property will be cleaned up (sometime), meaning that, although I would not want to put a house on it, use of the property for an industrial application such as a solar array should be a perfectly feasible use of the land, rather than just leaving it sit. If someone can explain why the property should just remain empty, rather than put to productive use, I certainly hope you would post in the comments.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adam Loos

Adam Loos has thrown his hat in the ring for city council.  If you want to read his platform, look here. Have seen several of his signs in the same yards as Jane Adams, so imagine their views are complementary.  Of course, I saw a lot of Adams and Fritzler signs in the same yards last election and we saw how that ended up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WSIU Impact Report

Following up on last week's comments about WSIU, the station published its community impact report this week. Does a lot for the community but really want to hear school closing notices, oh, and get the little weird news snippets back on at the bottom of every hour.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Henry for Mayor Website

Mayoral candidate John "Mike" Henry has a website up now, complete with the reasons he is running for the office, including some shots at the other candidate for Mayor, Jane Adams, who has supported Councilman Fronabarger's call for a sales tax increase on restaurants to fund a dog park and skate park

Friday, February 20, 2015

Chamber of Commerce Award Winners

In case you did not attend tonight's Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, and if you were anything like the vast majority of Carbondale residents, you did not, here are the award winners:

     Award recipients included:
                BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Wells Fargo Advisors was recognized as the Chamber’s Business of the Year. The financial services company has expanded its Carbondale presence several times, sponsors many civic and charitable events and encourages staff members to volunteer with organizations and causes of their own interest.
                BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR: Rex Budde, president and CEO of Southern Illinois Healthcare was named as Business Leader of the Year.  Budde, who began as CEO in 2009 after nine years as SIH’s chief financial officer, oversees all of the functions and activities of the health care system which serves 16 counties. During that time Budde has led the organization in improving patient access, quality care and overall patient satisfaction as well expansion programs including the development and construction of SIH’s new Cancer Treatment Center.
                REGIONAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Rendleman Orchards, one of Southern Illinois’ longest-running family-owned businesses was recognized as the Chamber’s Regional Business of the Year. From humble beginnings in 1873 as a 88 acre farm, six generations later has become one of the leading producers and retailers of peaches, nectarines, apples and vegetables to consumers and commercial produce markets throughout the Midwest.
                YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR: Joel Sambursky, founder and president of Liberty Wealth Management, was named the 2014 Young Professional of the Year, an honor for leaders under the age of 40. He established his firm in 2012 after five years as a financial adviser. A former quarterback for the Southern Illinois University football team, Sambursky served as the youngest-ever executive director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, has served on the SIU Board of Trustees and has been a member of the Carbondale Community Arts and Chamber board of directors. Additionally, he has been active in business, charitable and civic organizations and projects.
                PRESIDENTS’ SERVICE AWARD: Marcia Sinnott, a retired school teacher and real estate agent was recognized for her service to the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce with the Presidents’ Service Award, an honor chosen by the organization’s five most recent presidents. Sinnott has served on the organization’s board of directors since 2012 and is a member of the Ambassador’s Committee and frequently represents the Chamber at ribbon cuttings and other business events.
                CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Dr. Marsha Ryan, a Carbondale surgeon was named the city’s Citizen of the Year. Ryan, who holds both medical and law degrees has worked tirelessly to promote the city as a whole at civic organizations and events as well as charitable causes. She has served and supported groups including Carbondale Community Arts, the SIU Foundation, Hospice of Southern Illinois, the SIH Foundation, the Varsity Center for the Arts and Carbondale Community Arts. She also was named the Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year in 2003.
CARBONDALE COMMUNITY ARTS KEEPING ART IN BUSINESS AWARD: Two organizations were recognized by Carbondale Community Arts for efforts in promoting the arts. Southern Illinois Healthcare was named regional recipient of the Keeping Art in Business Award for the organization’s efforts in infusing health care with aesthetics and art in facilities throughout the region.
Global Gourmet, a Carbondale restaurant, was selected as the local recipient of the award, recognizing the business’ commitment to promoting live performances, art displays and cultural outreach.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Water Main Repair

Water main break along West Almond Street meant these Carbondale maintenance workers were digging pipes up in 10 degree weather this morning. Certainly appreciate their work but also glad it was them and not me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WSIU School Closings Info

WSIU is the only news oriented FM radio station in the area. School closings are news. So why in the world did WSIU not go over the list of them during Morning Edition this past Monday and Wednesday, instead  directing people to the WSIU website for the list of closings? They were able to read the list of closings Tuesday morning along with referring people to the website, which I was quite happy to hear.

What I truly found annoying was that WSIU found time to recap the story about some idiots shooting a snowplow on Monday, with no new information included except for the names. This time could have been used to go over school closings, much more useful to the local community. WSIU  has expanded its local news coverage, though I have some questions about the direction it has chosen to go, but not going over school closings, which is news about as local and useful as you can get and sending people to the website instead, appears to defeat the purpose of local radio.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Brazilian Restaurant

For those of you who like meat with your meat, Sabor de Mel, specializing in Brazilian cuisine, recently opened in the old Don Taco location in downtown Carbondale, next door to the Printing Plant.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow Emergency

Today, I guess would get classified as a snow emergency, given that we received 4 to 6 inches of the white fluffy stuff. Yet, there were still cars parked along streets designated as "snow emergency" routes. Many fewer than last year, thank goodness but still, they had plenty of advance warning that we were going to get hit by a heavy winter storm and had time to move them to a different location. Much like last year, I wonder if they will get ticketed. If they did not, then there is no reason to expect them to obey the law during the next snow emergency.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fire Response on West Main

Four fire trucks responded to an alarm in the 200 block of West Man about 7:30 Friday night. Smell of smoke in the upstairs apartments above La Unica Bakery, but no sign of any fire. Trucks were there for a good 45 minutes, making sure there was no problem.

Monster Truck Nationals

For those who like their entertainments loud and crashy:

Lucas Oil Monster Truck Nationals ®
Ticket Giveaway
Prize: Enter to win 10 family 4-packs to the show
Click Here to enter
What: Lucas Oil Monster Truck Nationals ®
Presented By Black Diamond Harley Davidson
Invites You To Bigfoot's Birthday Bash & Smash
When: Friday, February 27....7:30 pm
(Pit Party 5:30 pm – 7:15 pm)
Saturday, February 28....1:00 pm
(Pit Party 11:00 am – 12:45 pm)
Saturday, February 28....7:30 pm
(Pit Party 5:30 pm – 7:15 pm)
Where: Southern Illinois Center - DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, DuQuoin, IL
More: For more information visit Monster Nationals website or view the brochure.
Having trouble with the button? Copy and paste this:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Radio Shack Closures

As noted last week, Radio Shack declared bankruptcy and will close some 1700 stores. As noted on the list of potential store closings, the stores in Benton, Herrin, Marion, Harrisburg and Mount Vernon will all shutter, but the Carbondale store in Murdale Shopping Center will remain open, at least for now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I really wish the Chamber of Commerce would shift its focus from the panhandlers out by Giant City Road and Wal-mart to those that work around the town square. The Giant City road folks are passive, they sit there with a sign and motorists can choose or not to give money as they wish.

The town square panhandlers are much more aggressive. As I have a business in the area and walk around it frequently, I get asked for money a couple of times a month. However, this past weekend, I saw a couple of them acting fairly pushy. One latched onto a small group walking from The Cellar, following them north across the parking lot until finally one of the group handed him some money. The other was the guy who rides his bike around downtown asking for money. He biked in alongside a pickup that had just parked and blocked the driver's exit with his bike while he asked for spare change.

If you want to stand around downtown with a cup and a can, that's fine. Much like out on Giant City, people can then choose to give or not. But having someone getting in your face asking for money will make them think twice about coming downtown to eat next time, choosing places like Chili's, Buffalo Wild Wings or Fat Bottom Betty's instead. Even just increasing foot police presence in downtown, instead of sitting in a car in the parking lot at the corner of Illinois and College, would help.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Adams Campaign

Jane Adams' campaign for mayor picked up steam as a slew of her campaign signs popped up in yards along this stretch of West Main, along with the side streets in the Walnut Street Historic District. These homes are all located in the Arbor District, so her long association with that organization certainly increased the willingness of residents of the area to host her signs.

Adams also has a pickup with an "Adams Carbondale" A-frame sign mounted in the bed that tooled around town Saturday afternoon. Not sure what parts of town she covered but she was hitting  the square later in the afternon.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Radio Shack Bankrupt

Radio Shack announced it was filing for bankruptcy today. The company has about $1.2 billion in assets and $1.3 billion in debts.  Sprint plans to buy about 1700 of the roughly 3000 stores in the chain and turn them into co-branded Sprint outlets. I would say there's better than a 50/50 chance of that happening with the Radio Shack in Carbondale. Keeping it open as a Sprint outlet would give Sprint a dedicated storefront to compete with those operated by Verizon and T-moble here in town.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lance Jack Arrested

Police arrested councilman Lance Jack early last Friday morning on charges of DUI, resisting arrest and driving without insurance. Oh, also improper lane usage and illegal transportation of alcohol.

Charges of improper lane usage in 2008 and DUI and possession of cannabis in 2009 were both dismissed, though he was convicted of improper lane usage and driving with an expired license in conjunction with the 2009 arrest. Will certainly be interesting to see if he gets these charges dismissed as well. He did get re-elected after the 2009 arrest but the resisting a peace officer is a more serious charge.

Historic Preservation Awards Nominations

T he Historic Preservation Commission is accepting nominations for the10th annual Historic Preservation Awards:

The City of Carbondale Preservation Commission is honored to be sponsoring the 10th Annual Historic Preservation Awards. Any property located within the Carbondale city limits is eligible for a Historic Preservation Award.  Carbondale residents are invited to submit nominations for any property that they feel is deserving of an award.

For further information, please  contact:

Jessica Sergeev, Planner
City of Carbondale

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Videoing Police

Remember that Carbondale police officer that got filmed sleeping in St. Francis Xavier's parking lot a couple of weeks ago? From the 1960s until last year, the officer was correct, videoing an officer on duty was illegal in the great state of Illinois. However, that got thrown out as unconstitutional. 

Under the current, you may record any conversation wherein the parties have no expectation of privacy, i. e. yelling at each other in public. However, recording "eavesdropping" on police and public officials is still illegal, although the new law does not state what constitutes eavesdropping and that will likely get hashed out in court.  Recording an officer while he sits behind the wheel of his vehicle, especially if he is not saying anything, appears legal.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Video Gambling Establishments

Based on the agenda at this week's Liquor Advisory Board meeting, it looks as if people hope to cash in on the recently loosened regulations on video gambling in a big way. Two new businesses want to secure one of the new Class B3 licenses and one hold of a Class B2 license wants to switch to a B3:

Application to Reclassify a Class B2 Liquor License to a Class B3 Liquor License (Video Gaming Establishment with On-Premises Consumption) for Matt Chumbler d/b/a Lucky 13

4. Application for a Class B3 Liquor License (Video Gaming Establishment with On-Premises Consumption) for MLK Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Triple Sevens at 201 East Main Street

5. Application for a Class B3 Liquor License (Video Gaming Establishment with On-Premises Consumption) for Little Vegas Gaming, LLC d/b/a Little Vegas at 704 East Walnut Street

I recently read that revenues in the video gambling industry in Illinois more than  doubled in the past year and it looks as if these folks want a piece of the pie.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Polar Bear

This year's Polar Bear event appeared fairly quiet, though there was a heavy police presence. I drove out by the area on East Grad about 10 p.m. Saturday night and the sidewalks and lots were full. Winston's Bagels appeared doing a steady business as did Don Taco and I counted 3 police vehicles passing the area within as many minutes.  I did hear a report of pepper grenades requested alter in the evening, but whether they were used or not, I don't know. The crime map for the weekend does show a number of events in the area.

Compared to that area, the Strip was dead, in spite of the assorted "Puck Finch" events. Fat patties, Stix and Pags were all pretty empty, though I did see a small crowd at Sidetracks. It will be interesting to find out how booked the hotels were this year.